We received this press release which is obviously from the Libraries Yes campaign but there’s a lot of good info here on how it effects one of our local libraries.
The Northgate Branch of Seattle Public Library would see increased library hours, augmented collection of books and materials, enhanced library technology, and improved maintenance if the August 7 library levy is approved.
Known as Proposition One, the seven-year library levy worth $17.3 million annually will appear on the August 7 primary election ballot. It would stabilize the Seattle Public Library budget after four consecutive years of substantial budget cuts. At about 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, the levy would cost the average homeowner approximately $52 a year.
Since 2010, the Northgate Branch has been closed on Fridays and Sundays and has operated on a reduced weekday schedule. The branch serves a densely-populated and diverse neighborhood and was heavily-used in 2011 with more than 212,000 patron visits.
If the levy is approved, the Northgate Branch would open seven days a week and the week-long closure of all libraries in August would be eliminated. The collection of books and materials would be expanded to augment the branch’s Russian language collection and Spanish language resources.
Approved for a public vote by the Mayor and City Council in April 2012, the levy funding plan reflects the priorities of the community and will benefit every neighborhood in Seattle. By law, all levy proceeds will be deposited in the Library Levy Fund to specifically address the four primary areas of focus. Oversight of the levy funds will be provided by the Library Board of Trustees, a five-member citizen panel appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council.
Each year, the Library must submit a spending plan to the Mayor and Council that details how levy funds will be used. The City Librarian will also be required to deliver an annual progress report to the Mayor and Council, providing detailed information on how the previous year’s levy proceeds were used to address the four primary areas of focus.
Neighborhood libraries are a critical part of our quality of life, providing study space, meeting facilities, materials for personal and professional growth, and educational programs that build great communities.
For more information, visit www.yesseattlelibraries.com or call (206) 486-4810.